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WASHINGTON, Oct 13 (Reuters) – U.S. auto security regulators requested Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) why the electric-car maker has not issued a recall to handle software program updates made to its Autopilot driver-assistance system to enhance the autos’ capability to detect emergency autos.
The Nationwide Freeway Visitors Security Administration (NHTSA) in August opened a proper security probe into Tesla’s Autopilot system in 765,000 U.S. autos after a collection of crashes involving Tesla fashions and emergency autos.
To this point, NHTSA has recognized 12 crashes that concerned Tesla autos utilizing the superior driver-assistance techniques and emergency autos. NHTSA mentioned many of the incidents came about after darkish.
NHTSA desires Tesla to reveal its “technical and/or legal basis for declining” to challenge a recall.
In a separate letter, NHTSA requested Tesla about its “Autosteer on City Streets” which the company also refers to as “Full Self-Driving” (FSD) launched in October 2020, and raised considerations about limits on disclosure by drivers of issues of safety.
“Despite Tesla’s characterization of FSD as ‘beta,’ it is capable of and is being used on public roads,” NHTSA mentioned.
Some customers have posted social media movies that confirmed obvious points with the FSD system.
NHTSA desires Tesla to reveal its “criteria and timeline for allowing access to customers who have requested consideration in Tesla’s FSD Beta Request.”
NHTSA added it was conscious of stories that members in Tesla’s FSD early-access beta launch program “have non-disclosure agreements that allegedly limit the participants from sharing information about FSD that portrays the feature negatively. … Even limitations on sharing certain information publicly adversely impacts NHTSA’s ability to obtain information relevant to safety.”
NHTSA mentioned its actions “demonstrate its commitment to safety and its ongoing efforts to collect information necessary for the agency to fulfill its role in keeping everyone safe on the roadways, even as technology evolves. … We will act when we detect an unreasonable risk to public safety.”
NHTSA requested about Tesla’s distribution final month of performance to sure Tesla autos supposed to enhance detection of emergency automobile lights in low-light situations, and Tesla’s early October launch of the “Full Self-Driving Beta Request Menu option.”
NHTSA famous that the legislation says automakers should challenge a recall “when they determine vehicles or equipment they produced contain defects related to motor vehicle safety or do not comply with an applicable motor vehicle safety standard.”
The protection regulator mentioned the updates have been to assist detect flashing emergency automobile lights in low-light situations “and then responding to said detection with driver alerts and changes to the vehicle speed while AutoPilot is engaged.”
Tesla should reply by Nov. 1 to NHTSA’s letter.
Tesla didn’t instantly remark. Its shares have been up barely in midmorning buying and selling on Wednesday.
In February, Tesla agreed to recall 135,000 autos with touch-screen shows that might fail and lift the chance of a crash after NHTSA sought the recall, warning it might end result within the lack of rearview or backup digicam photos, exterior turn-signal lighting, and windshield defogging and defrosting techniques.
Reporting by David Shepardson in Washington Tiyashi Datta in Bengaluru; Enhancing by Anil D’Silva and Bernadette Baum
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